Connecticut's Supreme Court took up a civil-union case Monday in which eight gay and lesbian couples say that the state's refusal to grant them marriage licenses violates their constitutional rights and denies them the financial, social, and emotional benefits of marriage. A lower court dismissed their claim last year. A bill is pending in the state legislature to approve same-sex marriage.

US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff was in Brussels Monday to push European Union parliamentarians on a new information-sharing deal on airline passengers flying to the US. The current deal, which expires in July, limits the amount of time the data can be kept. Mr. Chertoff said he hopes to convey "how valuable that information is to us." EU lawmakers want a tougher approach to data protection. Chertoff is the first-ever US cabinet member to appear in the European Parliament.

President Bush was expected to announce changes in environmental regulation Monday. The steps came in response to a Supreme Court ruling last month that the Environmental Protection Agency can indeed regulate greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. The court had rebuked the administration for inaction on global warming.

Online shoppers spent more money on apparel than on computers last year, knocking the latter out of the top spot in Internet sales for the first time, according to a study by Forrester Research released Monday. "If you were looking for a sign that online retail has arrived and gone mainstream, this would be the sign," said Scott Silverman, executive director of, which commissioned the report. Consumers spent $18.3 billion buying apparel online in 2006, up 61 percent from 2005, and $17.2 billion on computers, an increase of 20 percent.

The Supreme Court Monday ruled against a death-row inmate who had directed his lawyer not to present mitigating evidence about his difficult childhood, then argued that his attorney was ineffective. Jeffrey Landrigan is a twice-convicted killer who was sentenced to death in Arizona in 1990.

A cruise ship carrying about 280 people hit a rock in the Icy Straits near Juneau, Alaska, Monday. It took on water but wasn't in danger of sinking. Crew and passengers were evacuated.

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